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Title: HOW TO FIND METAL-RICH ASTEROIDS

The metal content of asteroids is of great interest, not only for theories of their origins and the evolution of the solar system but, in the case of near-Earth objects (NEOs), also for impact mitigation planning and endeavors in the field of planetary resources. However, since the reflection spectra of metallic asteroids are largely featureless, it is difficult to identify them and relatively few are known. We show how data from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE)/NEOWISE thermal-infrared survey and similar surveys, fitted with a simple thermal model, can reveal objects likely to be metal rich. We provide a list of candidate metal-rich NEOs. Our results imply that future infrared surveys with the appropriate instrumentation could discover many more metal-rich asteroids, providing valuable data for assessment of the impact hazard and the potential of NEOs as reservoirs of vital materials for future interplanetary space activities and, eventually perhaps, for use on Earth.
Authors:
;  [1]
  1. German Aerospace Center (DLR) Institute of Planetary Research, Rutherfordstrasse 2, D-12489 Berlin (Germany)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22365920
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal Letters; Journal Volume: 785; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ASTEROIDS; INFRARED SPECTRA; INFRARED SURVEYS; INTERPLANETARY SPACE; METALS; PLANETS; POTENTIALS; REFLECTION; SOLAR SYSTEM; SOLAR SYSTEM EVOLUTION